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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=25947
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 1, 2018 12:09 PM
From: Representative Greg Rothman
To: All House members
Subject: Department of Human Services Child Fatality Reports
 

I will soon be introducing legislation that will limit the time in which a child fatality or near fatality report issued by the Department of Human Services is available to the public, specifically if the report determines that child abuse was not a factor in the death or near death and no one was culpable in the death or near death of the child.

Under current law, the Department is required to conduct a child fatality or near fatality review and provide a written report on any child fatality or near fatality if child abuse is suspected. Those reports are made available to the public online and remain posted online for an indefinite period, even if the report determines that child abuse was not a factor in the death or near death of the child and no one was found culpable in the death or near death.

My legislation would require the Department to remove those reports that determine that child abuse was not a factor in the death or near death of the child from the list of child fatality/near fatality reports posted online one year after they are issued.

This issue was brought to my attention by one of my constituents whose young foster son died tragically. A child fatality report was conducted and found that child abuse was not a factor in the death. Nevertheless, the report remains available to the public, which is a painful invasion of privacy for the family.

I hope you consider co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.



Introduced as HB2506